Joseph Bochynski: Fables / Bend or Break
Bend or Break, 2020
Mosaic bricolage (tile, porcelain fragments, seashells) on panel 12” x 12” x 4”
A mighty oak breaks in a strong wind while humble reeds bend and survive. From Aesop’s “The Oak and The Reed”.
FABLES series by Joseph Bochynski features twenty five mosaic bricolage roundels where lofty religious references and longstanding art historical traditions are represented with humble materials. Ceramic tiles that would otherwise be used for kitchens and bathrooms are combined with kitsch figurines collected from thrift stores and toys cast aside by the artist’s two daughters Nicolina and Natasha, ages 4 and 2 to create bricolage roundels inspired by the Renaissance works of the della Robbia family.
In Renaissance Florence, three generations of the della Robbia family created tin-glazed terracotta relief sculptures. Many of these works were roundels that were incorporated into the ornamentation of architectural facades and interiors. Inspired by the bright colors and reflective sheen. Bochynski uses his preferred medium of construction tile to make his own modern roundels. Imagery quoted from art history such as the Bayeux embroidery and the drawings of Villard de Honnecourt intermingle with broken tiles and found objects to tell invented stories that are at once humorous and ominous.